Councillors Say NHS Needs To Support Off-Island Families

st marys harbour tripper boats scillonianThe NHS should be approached for cash support so off-island families don’t have to fund travel to St Mary’s for their children’s medical appointments.

Cllrs Mollie Peacock and Christine Saville led the call for a subsidy at yesterday’s Children’s Trust Board meeting.

The members for St Agnes and St Martin’s favour an arrangement similar to the concessionary boat fare scheme, which gives a set number of boat tickets to disabled residents and the over 60s on the off-islands.

The meeting heard that Cornwall Foundation Trust was working to reduce off-islander expenses by sending the midwife to visit women at home. The midwifery service is negotiating use of the GP launch, too.

But Christine feels the subsidy should be wider and should include the Royal Cornwall Hospitals Trust.

Christine says off-islanders generally have one or two shopping days a week in the winter, when they travel to St Mary’s.

If a consultant’s visit is on a different day, it can be expensive to arrange a special boat hire for the day. Christine says the cost shouldn’t inhibit people from getting health care.

Mollie says it could cost up to £80 and underwriting the expense should be straightforward.

She also feels it wouldn’t be a large burden because there are relatively few families who would need to take up the offer.

The Council will work on a proposal to put to the relevant NHS bodies this summer.